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Tuesday, 21 November 2017 21:39

Hendry hat trick helps Saints down Dees

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Callum Hendry grabbed a hat trick as St Johnstone beat Dundee 5-0 in the SPFL Development League. The Saints hit man scored three times in a first half that saw Kyle McLean also find the net. Scott Struthers completed the scoring late on.

Dundee started brightly, with Randy Wolters seeing a shot deflected behind for a corner, before Matty Henvey brought a save out of Ross Sinclair.

Saints opened the scoring after 11 minutes, when Callum Hendry jinked his way into the Dundee box before dispatching a low shot across Kyle Gourlay into the corner.

Hendry doubled the Perth side's advantage after 20 minutes. Ian Smith was robbed by Kyle McClean in the midfield, and he picked out Hendry who cut away from the defender, and bent the ball into the far corner of the net.

Dundee were offering little in an attacking sense, while Saints looked like scoring every time they went forward. Sean Struthers flashed a shot narrowly wide before Jamie Docherty was denied by Gourlay.

Hendry continued to torment the Dundee defence, and grabbed his third three minutes before the break. The striker beat two defenders with a clever flick, before driving into the box and slotting past Gourlay.

There was still time remaining for Saints to add a fourth, thanks to McClean’s volley from the edge of the box.

Tuesday, 21 November 2017 21:06

Queen's rescue point against Celtic

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Queen’s Park fought back from two down to rescue a point against holders Celtic in the group stage of the City of Glasgow Cup. Celtic had led through two goals from Scott Robertson but a Kyle Docherty penalty and Scott Dunn header meant the points were shared at Lesser Hampden.

The visitors got off to the perfect stop as two minutes in, Ross Paton was adjudged to have tripped Robertson in the penalty box. Robertson took the penalty and sent Kieron McDougall the wrong way to give Celtic an early lead.

Queen’s Park fought back in what was a very even contest but it took to the half hour mark for number Ryan Mullen to be forced into a save as Lee Whitmore drove down the right but the keeper was equal to it. Mullen was called into action again a few minutes later but once again was able to deny Whitmore from equalising.

Those saves would be crucial for Celtic as they doubled their lead seven minutes before the break. The Hoops had looked dangerous from corners throughout the first half and on this occasion, Robertsons delivery was perfect as it looped over the keeper and found its way into the far corner of the net.

Celtic had the chance to extend their lead when number Karamoko Dembele picked up a loose pass from Queen’s Park but his effort drifted just wide of the right hand post.

 

Rangers fought off a Partick Thistle comeback to go through to the next round of the Scottish FA Youth Cup

Goals from Zak Rudden and Andy Dallas early in the second half looked to see Rangers through but then a quick brace from Neil McLaughlin took the game to extra time.

Then Rudden got his second either side of Serge Atakayi and Dapo Mebude to see Rangers into the next round where they will face St Johnstone.

Thistle finished the game with 10 men as Andrew McCarthy was sent off with minutes left of extra time for a second yellow after a foul on Atakayi.

The first chance of the game went to Rangers as a well whipped ball in from Jamie Barjonas met the head of Cameron Palmer whose header was straight down the throat of Goalkeeper Jamie Stevenson.

Thistle then had the best chance of the first half after McLaughlin went on a mazy run but his shot was tame. It was a great opportunity for the Jags and one that McLaughlin would've certainly felt that he could do better.

Then Atakayi had a fantastic opportunity and it came in bizarre circumstances as Barjonas put in a fantastic challenge which was picked up by Atakayi but his shot was straight at the goalkeeper.

Chances in the first half were few and far between as both sides were locked in a scrappy midfield battle. However it did set up n entertaining second half.

 

Three first half goals saw Clydebank FC stun Larkhall Thistle AFC in the 4th round fixture of the Scottish Youth Football Association Cup at Netherton. Clydebank came into the game with good form in the cups, currently undefeated in their Cumbernauld and Kilsyth District Youth League Cup section one group, scoring a remarkable 25 goals in 6 games.

They started this cup game in a similar fashion, dominating the opening exchanges and the first chance came their way in the 9th minute. Striker James Holt crossed into the box towards the head of Johnathan Mulgrew, but his goal-bound header was superbly saved by Thistle goalkeeper Ryan Blake.

Thistle looked to absorb the pressure and hit on the counter attack, a tactic which almost worked out in the 15th minute. Terrific footwork and blistering pace from Marc Semple on the breakaway saw him wriggle his way into the box, but he was crowded out by the Clydebank defence who cleared.

Two minutes later, another chance fell to Thistle, Steven Nicholls picking up the ball on the edge of the box and bending a shot towards goal, going just wide of the right hand post and the scores remained level.

Despite a brief Thistle resurgence Clydebank’s domination paid off in the 29th minute. A great cross into the box found Connor Hamilton at the near post and the striker rose highest to power his header past Blake.

Seven minutes later Clydebank doubled their lead with Hamilton yet again involved. This time it was the young strikers free kick that found Dylan Coll in the box and his powerful shot took a deflection into the bottom left hand corner.

Then, just before the half time whistle, Clydebank’s Kevin Lleshi raced down the left hand side into the box teeing a ball towards the middle.  In the perfect place was Holt who deftly headed the cross home to make it 3-0 for the home side in the 45th minute. 

 

 

ADJFA outfit Deveronvale used home advantage to full benefit to book their place in Tuesdays last 16 draw as they edged out Forth Valley Football Development Association side Milton Blue.

Both sides had enjoyed good starts to their respective campaigns. Deveronvale are currently 5th in the ADJFA league whilst Milton Blue sit at the top of the Forth Valley Football Development Association league.

Milton Blue prepared for this game in the best way possible with the team staying in accommodation in Elgin & Aberdeen on Saturday ahead of the 12pm kick off.

This game was scheduled to take place at School Park, Whitehills however with conditions in Banffshire debatable; a decision was made on Saturday afternoon to change the game to Canal Park, Banff. The Canal Park was quite heavy however the spectators were treated to a cracking game of football with 5 goals.

Deveronvale started the game on the front foot & were able to get into dangerous positions and opened the scoring after just three minutes. A great ball in from Brodi Smith found Lucas Sey who got himself into a good position in the penalty box & guided home a fine finish.

At the other end, Milton pressed for an immediate equaliser with David Scott having an effort saved by Curtis West before Andrew Cruse saw his effort saved after being put through on goal.

Milton equalised in the 20th with a cross-cum-shot from Paul O’Hara after Milton played some good football & the ball was spread wide into O’Hara who got his side back into the game. 

Sunday, 19 November 2017 18:54

Saints strike back to secure Last 16 spot

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St Andrews BC came from behind twice to beat Ferry Athletic and secure their spot in the last 16 of the Scottish Cup. Goals in either half from Louie Porter had the Dundee side in front on two occasions, but strikes from David McGowan, Liam Lapsley and Naythan Stewart won the game for the visitors.

The Greenock outfit travelled to the City of Discovery with just 11 players, but despite their threadbare squad, they started brightly. Josh Cooper’s overhead kick went narrowly wide before Mark Jardine saw his cross come back off the post. The ball fell into the path of Declan Black, but he slipped and missed the chance to knock the ball into the empty net.

Ferry nearly took the lead in bizarre circumstances when a clearance cannoned off Daniel Ogilvie, and left Dean McMillan scrambling to stop the ball sneaking in at his near post. Some of the Ferry faithful were convinced the ball was over the line, but the referee ignored their pleas.

Any issues they had about the ruling were quickly forgotten when Louie Porter fired a low shot into the far corner of McMillian’s net after 20 minutes.

Things nearly got better for Ferry when Luke Queen rounded McMillian, but he lost his footing and St Andrews cleared the danger. At the other end, David McGowan was denied a shot at goal by a well-timed challenge from Reece Muir.

As half time approached, St Andrews increased the pressure on the Ferry goal. Connor Milton made a fine stop to deny McGowan, but was beaten by the striker two minutes before the break. McGowan controlled a cross from the left, and made no mistake with a cool finish from close range.

Thursday, 16 November 2017 21:33

Wasps and Loons play out exciting draw

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A fairly dreich night at the Indodrill Stadium saw Graham Liveston’s Alloa and Eddie Gray’s Forfar meet in a Development League East encounter. The artificial playing surface at Alloa helped the game as the drizzly rain could’ve caused a few problems if the surface had been grass. The Indodrill Stadium was pretty sparse for this Development League encounter, but the fans that were there helped create a decent atmosphere when cheering on their respective team.
 
The game was a feisty affair with both teams at it from minute one. Both teams wanted to win the game, having numerous shots in the 90 minutes, the game would’ve definitely seen more goals if not for two resolute defences. Forfar were the team who perhaps slightly edged it, one Jamie Gill effort hitting the bar, numerous towering Ryan Stirton headers and a few low drives from Jamie Penker.
 
Alloa’s dominance came in the middle of the park, Scott Sinclair and Sean Fagan had 2 very good games and can count themselves unlucky to have not contributed to more goals or assists. Forfar had many good performers, most notably number 7 Jamie Gill who was a constant threat all night. The defenders of both sides won pretty much every header in the air, Forfar defender Ryan Stirton being the standout in that regard.
 
The game started off with an incident straight away, in the 4th minute Forfar number 10 Jamie Penker felt he should’ve been given a penalty after a shove in the back from Alloa’s Scott Cameron, the referee waved it away after strong appeals from the Forfar players. That would come back to haunt Forfar immediately as 2 minuutes later Alloa went down the other end with number 10 Sean Fagan, he cut in from the left hand side and drilled a shot low and hard past Jason King at his near post. Alloa had the lion-share of the possession for the first 20 minutes, the midfield pair of Sinclair and Fagan at the heart of everything the Wasps did going forward.
 
Forfar would start to grab a foothold in the game half an hour in as a quick throw in from Joshua Chalmers fell at the feet of Jamie Penker, the striker hit a shot low and hard down low to the keepers left but Wasps keeper Andrew Wilson got down well to give Forfar a corner. From the resultant corner, delivered by Forfar’s Jamie Gill, Sam Clark would come up from the back to stroke home the equaliser in the 33rd minute after a stramash inside the box.
Thursday, 16 November 2017 11:29

Hibernian edge out Dundee to stay on top

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Hibernian produced an impressive performance to overcome an experienced Dundee side 2-1 at Oriam. Hibs started the game brightly and went in at half-time with a two goal advantage with strikes from Ben Stirling and Gregor Woods. Dundee pulled one back in the second half with Matthew Henvey but couldn’t find an equaliser.
 
Dundee fielded a strong starting line-up consisting of five first-team players, including former Hibernian star Scott Allan, but that didn’t stop the Development League leaders from taking an early advantage thanks to an incredible strike from Ben Stirling who fired in a shot from 25 yards into the top corner of the net, leaving Dee keeper Callum Ferrie no chance.
 
Dundee did not let their heads drop however and kept plugging away at the Hibernian defence and came close through efforts from Josh Mulligan, who sent a shot just wide, and from Dutch winger Randy Wolters, who sent a free-kick just over the bar.
 
Hibs always looked dangerous and nearly increased their lead just before the half-hour mark when Oli Shaw, who was one-on-one with Ferrie, hit his shot straight at the Dundee keeper allowing the Dark Blue defence to clear.
 
The Hibs youngsters weren’t to be denied however when, less than a minute later, Gregor Woods placed a deflected shot into the bottom corner of the net to double his sides advantage.
 
In response to this, Dundee piled the pressure onto the Hibs back-line. The Dee were not keen to go in at half-time two goals down and Wolters produced a good save from Marciej Dabrowski. The winger would then attempt to set up Matthew Henvey who dragged his shot wide as the referee blew his whistle for the interval.
Tuesday, 14 November 2017 19:49

Hibees dump Dees to go clear at top of table

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Hibernian moved three points clear of Dundee at the top of the Development League table thanks to goals from Ben Stirling and Gregor Woods. Hibs led the Development League on goal difference before kick-off, and despite Matty Henvey’s second half goal, they held on to take all three points.

Dundee boasted a strong line up, with Scott Allan, James Vincent and Randy Wolters all included in an experienced starting 11. Despite this, it was Hibs that took the lead after only three minutes when Ben Stirling hit a thunderous side foot shot into the top corner from 25 yards.

The visitors went close through an effort from Josh Mulligan, and then a free kick from Wolters that narrowly missed the top corner. Hibs nearly doubled their advantage after 27 minutes when Oli Shaw went one-on-one with Calum Ferrie, but he shot straight at the Dundee stopper.

Ferrie was beaten less than a minute later, by Gregor Woods, whose shot deflected past the keeper into the net.

Wolters was Dundee’s main attacking outlet in the first period, and he brought a good save out of Maciej Dabrowski as half time approached. The Dutchman set up Matty Henvey not long after, but he dragged his shot from inside the box wide.
A 35th minute goal from Kathleen McGovern was enough for the 17's Scottish Cup to be handed to Celtic. Glasgow City are above Celtic in the 17's Leanne Crighton league however the league table means nothing in a cup final with both teams going for it from the word go.
 
Based on statistics there was going to be nothing between the two teams and this very much proved to be the case. These teams met on a domestic basis back in August in a game which Glasgow City took the spoils winning 1-0 against Celtic.
 
The opening exchanges to the game were slow however chances were minimal from either team. Laura McCartney saw a free kick just flash over the bar for City. Lucy Sinclair had an effort just gone wide in the 10th minute for Celtic.
 
City started with an ambitious 3-4-3 formation & this was very much documented with a lot of attacking football however being exposed at the back with Celtic gaining a lot of free kicks after pushing forward. City also got their fair share of free kicks which lead to more chances. Celtic were also playing in an attacking manner playing in a 4-2-3-1 formation & an entertaining match was on the cards which is very fitting for a Scottish Cup final at Under 17s level.
 
Glasgow City were trying to break through the Celtic backline however never really threatened to break their way through the box instead trying long range efforts. A tame effort from McCartney was met by Kendall Welsh before a Carly Girasoli free kick went over. Hannah Scott also tried a long range effort which was dealt with by Welsh.
 
A Laura McCartney corner kick tested the Celtic backline & when the green & white hoops couldn’t get the ball away from their respective penalty area, Lucy Ronald tried a dipping effort which crashed onto the crossbar.
 
It was Celtic who gone ahead & they weathered the storm for a long period in terms of chances and posession however when they had a chance they took advantage of it. A great ball from Aisha Maughan found Kathleen McGovern in the 35th minute who guided the green & white hoops in front with a fine finish.
 
Celtic were playing an organised game and took advantage of depleted numbers in the City backline to go in front. Just 3 minutes later, McGovern went from goal scorer to distributor after she feeded in Maughan who produced a good save out of Sophie Allison in the Glasgow City goal.
 
As expected, there wasn’t much of a difference from both teams and both teams were producing a competitive Scottish Cup final. Both sides had two shots on goal at the interval & both sides had their fair share of shots off target as well.